If you ask about the origins of the
Birkin, most fashion types will know that this iconic bag from Hermès was named after the famed French singer and actress Jane Birkin. Same for the equally famous Hermès Kelly bag, whose namesake, Grace Kelly, was the epitome of style. But unless you’re a golfer, the name Chantaco—and its fashion link—might not resonate with you. The bag was named after the famed private golf course that was built in 1928 on the outskirts of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the south of France. René Thion de la Chaume, whose daughter Simone Thion de la Chaume, later married tennis champion
René Lacoste, owned the course. It remains in the Lacoste family to this day. I’ve added one to my summer-bag collection, and it has already become my go-to. The textured-leather looks and feels like a golf ball, and the points at the end of the handles are meant to resemble a tee. It’s practical (isn’t it amazing what women carry around every day in their bags?!) and has a sporty-chic design that offers a modern spin on the classic shopper shape. A few years ago, I had an opportunity to visit Chantaco and meet René’s daughter, Catherine. Like her mother, she was once a golf champion. While today her game is bridge, she told me that golf fundamentally shaped her character. “Golf teaches you how to win, how to lose and how to fight,” she said. “You learn to hang on, how to never give up. Until the last putt is in, you can’t give up. I think that’s the same in life.”
I also had a private golf lesson with former French champion Patricia Meunier-Lebouc. Aside from humility, what life lessons did she teach me? Read on….
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